I’m not sure lately how to start writing. I have the urge, and I need the creative outlet, but I haven’t been able to make myself begin. Do you ever feel like that?
It has been so long that picking up where I left off feels impossible, and starting right here, right now lands us somewhere in the middle of the story.
I am notorious for starting stories in the middle. I don’t mean to do it; it’s just that I forget who knows what and whom, and I don’t always remember to build the backstory.
I will try to do better this time.
Let’s start with December 1. Mackenzie turned fourteen months old! FOURTEEN MONTHS!! She weighs a little over 23 pounds, and she is so tall. We just bought 18-month-old pants for her, mostly to cover her tummy. She wears fewer onesies and more shirts and pants now. One of my favorite things to see do is ask her where her belly button is. She will lift up her shirt and show you, and then she’ll reach for your shirt to look for yours.
Mackenzie loves to wave, to clap, to dance, to play with colorful, shiny things. Christmas ornaments and toy blocks are current favorites. She loves Elmo, and she’ll sing along with the la las in the Elmo Song. She loves matching games, boxes, and putting things inside of things. She understands simple sentences, and she “talks” a lot. She gets frustrated when I misunderstand her.
She is so curious. Her balance and coordination are great, and she pushes up on one foot a lot when she’s crawling. I think she’ll be walking soon.
Actually, things are getting really, really fun with Mackenzie. We can communicate with her, and we are learning her personality and what interests her and makes her happy. She is so sweet, and so quick to smile, even when her one-year molars are doing their worst.
We added bath time to our nightly routine, and it Mackenzie’s absolute favorite. Here’s a peak into how much fun she has:
I am so grateful for our nigh-time routine. It ends the day in such a peaceful, consistent way. It’s time the three of us spend together, and no matter how busy or chaotic the day was, we end it peacefully, happily, kind of a reset for the next day.
We spent Thanksgiving at my Mom’s in Missouri, and it was amazing. All of my brothers and sisters were there, most with their kids and loved ones. We had a packed house and tons of food. It was just so great. Mackenzie did a great job in the car on the way there and back, and she warmed up to all of the new people in no time. My mom and my brothers and sisters made a fantastic, delicious meal. It was wonderful.
It has been nine years since we were all together, but this year was special. There was a little extra incentive for all of us to make it happen this year. I haven’t written about this here yet because I haven’t known how, so I suppose I’ll just get it out there — my mother has been fighting cancer for about the last year. A tumor was discovered in her throat just after Christmas last year, and she is just now finishing a second round of treatment. The summer was particularly difficult — she had surgery, radiation, chemo, so many complications, and so much pain. But then the cancer was gone, and we were all so happy. Unfortunately, it seems like it was coming back, so she agreed to a second round of treatment. Thankfully (SO thankfully), this round has been much easier on her. I’m not sure when we’ll have test results, though.
So Thanksgiving was extra special. The last two times I’ve seen my mom, she wasn’t strong enough to hold Mackenzie, and I didn’t get any pictures of them together. But THIS time, she was strong enough, and we got pictures. Chris even got a little bit of video. 🙂 This photo is my favorite.
Another big change for us recently has been that I’ve gone back to work full-time, and I’m not doing much freelance any more. This has been a huge change, but it is so good in so many ways. The agency I work for is fantastic, I’m still in web development, but I’m with people (grown ups!) all day, and Mackenzie has a fantastic teacher and is learning and growing in amazing new ways all the time. It has been a positive change for both of us, albeit definitely an adjustment.
So. There you have it. There is so much more to say, and many more pictures to share, but that’s the back story. I’ll be back tomorrow with some photos of Mackenzie at Christmastime last year, as well as some more recent ones. Baby girl is growing up! 🙂